by Mark Albert
Travelers have found a new way to save money: buy two one-way tickets instead of a roundtrip.
A recent report by Airlines Reporting Corporation declares its analysis “disproves the myth” that roundtrip tickets are always cheaper than building the trip with two one-way tickets.
In fact, the number of flyers who are purchasing their itineraries direction-by-direction has “significantly increased” in just the past three years, ARC found.
For some markets, historically the cost of buying two one-way tickets was up to 50% higher than that same trip booked as a roundtrip.
That pricing disparity, however, is now virtually gone, ARC concluded.
“The data shows the long-held belief that it is always better to purchase a roundtrip ticket is not always true in today’s market,” ARC’s Chuck Thackston explained in a release.
Surge of One-Way Tickets ‘Here to Stay’
ARC analyzed 350 million ticket transactions from nearly 7,000 travel agencies across the United States over the past three years.
Its study found the share of itineraries now purchased as two one-way tickets increased a dramatic 45% since 2014, from 29% of all tickets purchased to 42% this year.
The “surge” in such one-way purchases was seen for travel booked far in advance, as well as last-minute travel, when such tickets were traditionally bought for maximum flexibility.
“This surge in one-way ticket travel looks like it’s here to stay,” Thackston said.